Ben & Jerry’s parent company fired Jewish man for taking off during Rosh Hashanah, suit claims


A Jewish man says he was fired from Unilever — the parent company of Ben & Jerry’s that was criticized for an ice cream sales ban in the West Bank — for taking days off from work during Rosh Hashanah, new court papers allege.

David Rosenbaum — a general manager at Unilever’s Englewood Cliffs, NJ headquarters — told boss Frank Alfano he planned to take days off for the Jewish high holy days in the fall of 2019, according to his Bergen County lawsuit from Thursday.

But, Alfano “told [Rosenbaum] that he could not take off for Rosh Hashanah and probably not for Yom Kippur as well,” the court papers allege.

A “distressed” Rosenbaum, 55, told Alfano that his religion required him to not work on those days. But, the boss wouldn’t budge, the filing claims.

Rosenbaum, of Washington Township, took the time off anyway and sent an email to the higher-ups on Sept. 30, 2019 — the first day of Rosh Hashanah — explaining what Alfano told him and how it was against the law. The Unilever lawyer merely replied saying she would speak with Human Resources, the suit claims.

The next day on Oct. 1, Rosenbaum was fired over the phone, “since he had not come into work on Rosh Hashanah,” the court documents allege.

In a prior incident, Alfano retaliated against Rosenbaum for an August 2019 complaint Rosenbaum made after Alfano allegedly touched him, propositioned him and asked Rosenbaum to lend him money,” the filing claims.

Rosenbaum — who also worked with Ben & Jerry’s marketing team to organize sales events — alleged his si... (Read more)

Submitted 29 days ago

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